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Biological Name: Lentinula edodesShiitake

Other Names: mushroom (shiitake), Shiitake, Hua gu, black mushroom

Elements Applied: The body is commonly applied in herbal medicine.

Active Components: Shiitake includes minerals, proteins, vitamins, fats, soluble fiber, and carbohydrates. Moreover, one of the active components present in the body is lentinan, a polysaccharide. The part of the mushroom commonly used in commercial medicines is the mycelium collected at the time when stem and cap are yet immature. This mycelium extract is called lentinan edodes mycelium or LEM. LEM has a high content of lignans and polysaccharides.

History: In Chinese medicine mushrooms are specially valued for the religious force they are given. They are considered to be food for spirit, and believed to enhance its vitality. For this reason the mushrooms are widely applied in vegetarian diets and thought to prolong one’s lifespan. The variety of mushrooms used in Chinese medicine is quite wide, with shiitake being one of the most potent examples. This species, dubbed black mushroom, has once been collected only wildly, and nowadays it is specially raised across the globe.

This mushroom has been applied as meal and as a medical remedy in China and Japan for centuries. One of remarkable Chinese doctors, Wu Ri, prescribed this mushroom for healing bowel helminthes, treating common colds, and energizing the body.

Used For: The list of cases aided by shiitake includes HIV therapy, hepatitis, and chemotherapy.

According to recent studies, shiitake has been stated to help in a wide variety of conditions, like viral and bacterial infections, atherosclerosis, tumors, immunity disorders, and helminthes. Shiitake is considered potent of treating hepatitis in each of its variations, like hepatitis B and C. Its component, lentinan, is a strong remedy for viral infections, as it helps increase immunity cells production, like lymphocyte and T-cell, which are especially necessary when it comes to complicated cases, like HIV.

According to some studies, LEM is potent of diminishing hepatitis B activity; the fact is proven by blood and liver investigations. In Japan lentinan was widely applied in processed form for aiding stomach cancer. Used in conjunction with chemotherapy, this component showed its effectiveness in healing the conditions and prolonging one’s life expectancy. The action takes places thanks to shiitake capacity to increase T-cell quantities, especially T-lymphocytes. Anecdotal reports state than Japanese specialists have reached success in treating HIV-cases applying lentinan. Still, there is no sufficient evidence on this fact, and the potency has yet to be investigated.

As stated by herbal specialist Christopher Hobbs, eritadenine, contained in shiitake, is potent of decreasing cholesterol and lipid quantity in blood. When added to the daily meals of rats, this substance (0,005%) diminished the amount of cholesterol by as much as 25 percent in only a week.

Additional Info: Shiitake mushrooms are indigenous to China, Japan and some other countries in Asia, and can be found on fallen deciduous trees. Shiitake is specially raised across the globe, as well as in the USA. The body is applied in medical purposes.

Preparation and Intake: Shiitake is conventionally used both as food and as a medical remedy in a quantity of 5-15 grams a day.

LEM, its component, is used in a quantity of 1-3 g twice or thrice a day, till you notice any positive change in the condition. LEM, as a pure extract with higher effectiveness, is valued more than the mushroom itself.

In form of tincture the remedy is used in a quantity of 2-4 ml a day.

Safety: Shiitake has revealed no side effects if taken in normal doses, but in case of overdose it may cause stomach aches and diarrhea. There is no information concerning its reliability for pregnant women. As you’re going to use the herb, speak with your health-care provider.